Loyce McKenzie, Mississippi

scented or unscented daffodils…

August 17, 2008

Categories: Daffodil Types, Standards

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Welcome to Daffnet, Susan.
You’ve hinted at a distinct difference amongst daffodils, whether from preference or allergies.
But scent should certainly be considered with flowers forced for the enjoying indoors. And as Keith
Kridler explained it, the perception of a particular scent as good or bad varies with the person.But it made me think about a larger puzzlement.
What could be listed as a tazetta with no scent?
A jonquilla with no scent?
Or any other division’s flowers with any scent at all? If I had to make suggestions for this last question,
I doubt I could go beyond Brian Duncan’s ‘Fragrant Rose,’ a recent Wister winner, whom some people
say reveals no fragrance at all to them.
It does in my garden,and when cut, in my kitchen.

Are we breeding at all for scented flowers beyond the boundaries of tazettas and jonquillas?

Loyce McKenzie


5 responses to “scented or unscented daffodils…”

  1. Tom Stettner, Ohio Tom Stettner says:

      I’m glad you asked that question. In fact, just this spring I made my first cross with the intention of a new or different scent. The Cross was Arctic Char (having a nice scent)  X Scented Breeze (bred from Fragrant Rose, and I think a stronger scent).
    I’m so grateful to Brian for saving Scented Breeze from the discard pile ! .  .  Before I made good comment about it at the Baltimore convention where I saw ( & Smelled it ! ) it for the first time, Brian said that it was marked for discard. Scented Breeze has been a fantastic cultivar for me. Holding it’s vigor, quality & scent year after year. I’m going to try to make crosses for Scent each year if I can find different scented varieties to use. I’ll post a ‘not-so-great’ photo of Scented breeze here. I think it’s a great hybrid, larger than Fragrant Rose.

    Tom Stettner
    In Southwest Ohio with temps in the low-mid 80s and dry going into the low mid 90s this week.

  2. Brenda Lyon says:

    G’day All, This photo of Megan was taken on the 11.8.08 It would normally flower the second week in September. I bought the pot inside and placed a bunch of bananas near the pot. The flower opened within 5 days, about 4-5 weeks earlier than usual. Regards Brenda

  3. Edith Godfrey says:

    Oooh!  Look at that diamond dusting!

    Edie Godfrey



  4. Edith Godfrey says:

    I’ve had the best luck trying to force the early-blooming and shorter varieties of daffs and tulips. The late blooming varieties tend to get somewhat confused and often are shyer bloomers in pots. The taller-stemmed varieties tend to elongate even more and fall over with shortened daylight hours–the vodka treatment is supposed to help with tazettas grown in water vases, but I’ve not tried it as part of a regular watering regimen for bulbs in soil in pots (if there were a daffodil or tulip named ‘Whisky Mac,’ though, it probably could tolerate the alcohol well, but might bloom a bit off-kilter). Having supplemental light for extended daylight hours, regularly adjusting it to be very close to the tops of the foliage, is a non-alcoholic method, but costs more for the set-up and the electric bill. Consistent cool temperatures during foliage and flower bud emergence also improve results, after the necessary cold period for root development. Winter sunlight can heat up a sunny indoor room very quickly and can cause the flower bud to blast. Edie Godfrey Minnesota

  5. Becky Fox Matthews, Tennessee Becky Fox Matthews says:

    I have seen great pots of ‘Jetfire’ forced and they have very little scent.  ‘Jetfire’ are also nice smaller flowers with shorter foliage.  Yes, you can force varieties other than tazettas.  Googling “daffodils to force” comes up with several lists of cultivars that force well.

    You may also want to check out the following link for the findings on how watering forced daffodils with diluted alcohol helps keep the foliage from growing too tall:


    Becky Fox Matthews
    that daffy girl near Nashville